Collecting and regenerating populations of the Allium ampeloprasum complex from Greece

C. Kik*, E.C. de Groot, G. Bottema, M. op 't Hof, N. de Visser, P. Willems, T. van Doormalen, S. Samaras, E. Polemis, D. Tzanoudakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Collecting expeditions are of prime importance to acquire genetically unique material, as for many crops and their wild relatives, large gaps are present in collections worldwide. This is also true for the three species of the Allium ampeloprasum complex, native to Greece, which are considered as the crop wild relatives of cultivated leek (Allium porrum). Therefore, a collecting expedition was carried out in Greece in 2009. A total of 62 populations ofA. ampeloprasum, 20populations ofA. bourgeaui, 19 populations ofA. commutatumand three mixed species populations were sampled. Thesampled populations were mostly small (less than 50 plants), but sometimes large populations (more than 10,000 plants)were encountered, especially forA. commutatum. Two different reproduction systems were observed inA. ampeloprasum,which is probably due to ploidy level differences. The sexual type was predominantly found along cultivated fields, whereasthe asexual type occurred in abandoned fields together withSarcopoterium spinosum(L). Spach andCistusspp. Regenerationprotocols were developed for these species as the phenology of cultivated leek is different from its wild relatives. RegeneratingA. ampeloprasumwas more difficult compared to the other two species. Ten years after the collecting mission only one-thirdof the collected material has been regenerated. This is partly due to the characteristics of the material and partly because theDutch collectors and the Greek competent national authorities on Access and Benefit Sharing were not able to conclude aspecific arrangement which also involved the commercial use of the material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalGenetic Resources Journal
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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